Mamluks and Crusaders: Men of the Sword and Men of the Pen brings together a series of studies, based mainly on medieval Arabic sources, of Middle Eastern history and society in the late Middle Ages. Several of these studies deal with the confrontation between the Mamluks and the Crusaders. Others deal with aspects of Mamluk society and culture in Egypt and Syria from the 13th to the early 16th centuries. There are articles on such matters as Crusader feudalism and Mamluk iqta', Crusader and Mamluk currency, the last years of the Crusader states, Mamluk faction fighting, the size of the Mamluk army, the image of the Crusaders and other Europeans in Arabic popular literature, a neglected source on the sex life of the Mamluks, the ritual consumption of horse meat by Mamluks and Mongols, the table talk of the Mamluk Sultan Qansuh al-Ghawri, the deployment of gunpowder and firearms in the Middle East, gangsterism in Cairo and the shared interest of Ibn Khaldun and al-Maqrizi in the occult. Finally, several studies deal with questions of historiography, in both Crusader and Mamluk studies.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Iqta and the end of the Crusader States; The supply of money and the direction of trade in 13th-century Syria; The Mamluk conquest of the County of Tripoli; Egypt, Syria and their trading partners, 1450-1550; Factions in medieval Egypt; The image of the Byzantine and the Frank in Arab popular literature of the late Middle Ages; How many miles to Babylon? The Devise des Chemins de Babiloine redated.; Toynbee and Ibn Khaldun; Eating horses and drinking mare's milk; Usamah ibn Munqidh, an Arab-Syrian gentleman at the time of the crusades, reconsidered; The impact of the early crusades on the Muslim world; What the Partridge Told the Eagle: a neglected Arabic source on Chinggis Khan and the early history of the Mongols; Under Western eyes: a history of Mamluk studies; Ali al-Baghdadi and the joy of Mamluk sex; The privatisation of 'justice' under the Circassian Mamluks; Mamluk literature; Orientalism and the early development of Crusadier studies; Tribal feuding and Mamluk factions in medieval Syria; Al-Maqrizi and Ibn Khaldun, historians of the unseen; Gunpowder and firearms in the Mamluk Sultanate reconsidered; Futuwwa: chivalry and gangsterism in medieval Cairo; Ibn Zunbul and the romance of history; The political thinking of the 'virtuous ruler' Qansuh al-Ghawri; Index
’[These articles] cohere to form a profound portrait of the medieval Middle East... This collection is a landmark in the work of one of our leading Arabists.’ Times Literary Supplement 'Irwin writes with clarity and judiciousness, and many of the essays will be of interest not only to scholars in the field (who will already be familiar with some of them), but also to students.' Crusades 'This thick, rich and illuminating volume represents only a small part of Robert Irwin’s work. He is an extremely prolific scholar and a man of many interests and abilities. This could well be merely the first of several Variorum volumes because he has published more on other subjects and shows no sign of easing up on his work load. Perhaps Irwin’s greatest asset is his literary prowess, which opens up areas of academia to those who would previously have been put off by the obscurity of the subject and the language in which it was expressed. This collection of papers will not only gain Robert Irwin more devotees but will open up MamlÅ«k studies and mediaeval Islamia to many who might otherwise have been discouraged.' Journal of Qur’anic Studies